Skip to main content

Mendeley: Add references

Learn how to use the reference management programme Mendeley.

Adding references to your Mendeley library

You may use the following ways to add files, e.g. PDF, onto your Mendeley Desktop:

1. Add Files

  • Click Add Files and select either a file or a folder of files from your computer to add to your Mendeley desktop. 


2. Drag and Drop

  • Drag and drop files into the middle column of your Mendeley desktop

3. Watch Folder

  • You can create a folder on your computer that Mendeley will 'watch'. When you add a PDF to this folder, Mendeley will automatically import the PDF to your Mendeley library. 
  • To set this up, first create a folder for keeping PDF files on your computer. Then, in your Mendeley library, click on the Tools > Options > Watched Folders. In the next pop up window, select the folder that you want Mendeley to watch. 
  • Start saving PDF's into this folder. Mendeley will import any new PDFs in this folder into your Mendeley library. 

Mendeley uses a web importer Save to Mendeley for adding online resources to your Mendeley library. In order to get this function work, you should firstly go to the Mendeley website, drag  from this webpage to the bookmarks bar of a web browser. 

Save references

  • Search databases or Library Search or a website
  • Find an item of interest
  • Click the Save To Mendeley button in your bookmark bar. 
  • A Mendeley box will appear on the right hand side of the screen, click Save to add this item to your library


Sometimes the Web importer will be unable to read any data. In this case you will be prompted to manually add details to the record. 

On Mendeley desktop, click the dropdown menu of Add Files, select Add Entry Manually, type details of a book or an article into the fields. 


Edit references

Some files or references added to the library do not include full details. For example, the details of authors and the journal are missing from the following reference record. We can manually add details to these fields. 

Loading ...